FIRST LOOK: Downton Abbey’s Christmas special

We've been warned to have tissues at the ready for this year's Downton Christmas episode

Downton Abbey fans, listen up! We’ve got a sneak peek at what’s in store for this year’s highly-anticipated Christmas special.

ITV has released the first pictures from the festive episode, which will air on Christmas Day at 9pm.

The one-off will see Lord and Lady Grantham head off with their family to visit some Scottish cousins at Duneagle Castle, leaving most of the staff behind at Downton Abbey.

And, Downton lovers, we’ve been warned that the Christmas special could be a bit of a sob-fest.

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‘This is one episode you will want to see live with millions of others – and best have the tissues ready,’ said Laura Mackie, Director of Drama at ITV.

We can’t wait.

Some details of the fourth series have also been revealed and we’ve been told that it’ll follow the Crawley family and their staff in the early 1920s.

Mackie said: ‘Viewers can look forward to more drama, comedy, love, hatred, jealousy, rivalry, ambition, despair and romance. We’re thrilled to welcome back a drama series that has become a much anticipated part of all our lives every autumn and achieved success around the globe.’

Eight new episodes will be shown in autumn 2013 and filming will begin at Highclere Castle in February 2013.

Watch our interview with Downton Abbey’s Ed Speleers below:

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